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KRIZDA88
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31 May 2010, 6:57 pm

I just started dating a guy about a month or so ago and I really like him but I also have no prior dating experience (and neither does he even though I'm 22 and he's 25) and I really don't know what to expect and how much of what I'm feeling is normal and how much is related to my AS.
So I'm asking any other AS Ladies who are in a successful relationship or married to share any tips they might have for dealing with AS in a new or existing relationship and the things you believe were keys to your success.


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31 May 2010, 7:21 pm

I wish you the best of luck, although I can't give advice because i've never been in a successful relationship.



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31 May 2010, 8:42 pm

Hi. My bf and I were basically each other's firsts, too, so I can totally relate. He thinks he might have AS too, so that's one of the things that helped--giving us some common ground from the beginning. No, I'm not saying that's essential--other people here have said that they're in relationships with NT's that are working just fine.

There were a few times when we almost broke up--usually, because I was in grad school and super busy and he thought I had no time for him.

What saved us, I think, was communicating. Hope that doesn't sound too cliched but it's 100% true. Don't play games, don't withdraw what you're really feeling for fear that the other person "can't handle it," don't lie over stupid stuff. You are both old enough to act like adults instead of highschoolers. IMO, that's what kills many relationships that could otherwise have been successful. (You may be asking at this point, "how does she know this if she's only been in one relationship?" Other people have told me stuff about their breakups--it seems pretty common.)

However, there is still such a thing as tact. You may want to discuss this with your bf now--how much does he (and you) want to hear? That's part of communicating successfully too--knowing where the boundaries are, if any.

As for the AS issue, talk about that too. What exactly are you feeling that you're not sure is "normal" or "related to [your] AS"? You can talk about that here first if you'd like--like I said, there may be "boundaries" depending on how much your bf can handle discussing all at once.

Hope that helps. Good luck to both of you. :D


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31 May 2010, 9:11 pm

Have conversations in very quiet places to minimize distraction, don't lie, try not to lecture or blither endlessly when the topic is a special interest. Be patient, and try to listen and remember what he says. Don't disregard his wishes just because they don't seem logical or interesting to you or overlook abuse.
This is sort of an every girl thing. Don't whine and be shallow when he wants to cut his hair short.. or when he wants to wear something comfortable but hideous in the right setting.


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poppyx
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31 May 2010, 10:00 pm

NT here.

I made the mistake of trying to talk to my boyfriend about his AS when he got diagnosed. I think it pushed him over the edge as far as our relationship was concerned--he decide to date someone else so that he wouldn't have to admit to having AS.

If your boyfriend is o.k. with the diagnosis, then you're o.k.--but I would not start out assuming he is o.k. with the diagnosis. The grief over that has layers, and they can be pretty deep.



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03 Jun 2010, 6:57 am

Listen. I fell for my husband because he listened to me. He didn't try to "fix" me. He is willing to explain NT behavior to me, to give me advice on how to act or react in a given situation, and signals me when I'm about to step over a social boundary. He acts as a buffer between me and the baffling NT world when he needs to. He's supportive but not afraid to push me (sometimes I don't think I can do something and he thinks I can, so he pushes me and usually he is right). He understands that just I smile a bit when most people would laugh. He accepts all my quirks as part of who I am. He refuses to let me even begin to define who I am by my AS, but doesn't try to make me believe AS is not part of who I am. He cares more about my brain than my beauty -- after all, beauty is only skin deep. He spends a lot of time with me but knows that I need most of my time to be "me time."

Is he perfect? Not by a long shot. Despite his flaws, he's willing to put the effort into having and maintaing a relationship with someone like me. It can't be easy! In general, it's a matter of respect, patience, and intelligence that makes our relationship work.



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06 Jun 2010, 7:23 pm

Rose_in_Winter wrote:
Listen. I fell for my husband because he listened to me. He didn't try to "fix" me. He is willing to explain NT behavior to me, to give me advice on how to act or react in a given situation, and signals me when I'm about to step over a social boundary. He acts as a buffer between me and the baffling NT world when he needs to. He's supportive but not afraid to push me (sometimes I don't think I can do something and he thinks I can, so he pushes me and usually he is right). He understands that just I smile a bit when most people would laugh. He accepts all my quirks as part of who I am. He refuses to let me even begin to define who I am by my AS, but doesn't try to make me believe AS is not part of who I am. He cares more about my brain than my beauty -- after all, beauty is only skin deep. He spends a lot of time with me but knows that I need most of my time to be "me time."

Is he perfect? Not by a long shot. Despite his flaws, he's willing to put the effort into having and maintaing a relationship with someone like me. It can't be easy! In general, it's a matter of respect, patience, and intelligence that makes our relationship work.


I love this answer, it sounds similar to my experience. I didn't know I had AS when we married.
I wish I could say that I did a lot of things that made our relationship successful, but I think that most of the credit probably has to go to him.
He makes me feel every day like he is the luckiest guy in the world to be married to me.
Because of all he puts up with for me, I am willing to go out of my comfort zone for him.
Communication is very key - I have learned to let him know when I need space and he doesn't takes it personally.
We don't criticize/insult anything about each other that we have no control over, we don't try to fix each other; mutual respect is so key.
My AS means that I remember details, analyze everything - I try to use this for the best in our relationship i.e. see a book by an author I know he likes and pick it up for him, make his favorite treat.
In a way, I think my need for alone time has been good as he feels free to pursue his favorite interest - hockey and I'm fine to let him go and do this, sometimes I go along to watch but he probably has more freedom to pursue his interests than an NT partner would put up with.



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06 Jun 2010, 10:00 pm

I was in a relationship for 14 years and have been in my current one for 10 years. I think relationships are much easier to deal with than friendships because there is much less subtlety.

As long as you feel confident that this guy really likes you (he calls you all the time, can't wait to to see you, seems smitten by you when you are together, hangs on every word you say, etc.), and you feel the same way about him, then you don't have to do anything in particular. If you feel like telling him how much you like him, or cover his face with kisses, then you can do that. If you were with a casual friend and stared telling them how much you liked them it would be totally weird, on the other hand. A bf might find it weird too, but he will probably be charmed by your guilelessness.

This advice only works if you are both really into each other, of course, but it's been my experience and it's what I know.



Rose_in_Winter
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08 Jun 2010, 6:29 am

bee33 wrote:
(he calls you all the time, can't wait to to see you, seems smitten by you when you are together, hangs on every word you say, etc.)


Maybe it's just me, but someone acting like that would actually make me really uncomfortable. It seems a bit clingy and I'm a very independent person. You don't have to feel like that or have your other behave that way for the relationship to be on the right track. To me, the above sounds like the "honeymoon stage" of any relationship, and most relationships don't stay in the honeymoon stage forever. After the honeymoon stage passes, you develop a deeper, more lasting love (the kinds of hormones the body produces in a new relationship are not the same as it produces in a long-term relationship). Some post-honeymoon couples still act like honeymoon couples, and good on them! However, after nearly a decade of friendship and eight years as a couple, I no longer need (or want!) that kind of attention from my spouse. Don't worry if the above stuff fades after a while; it doesn't have to herald the end of a relationship, just a change. I know my husband loves me without all the lovey-dovey stuff I craved early on, and the trust and level of closeness I feel now is far preferable! (Not that I don't occasionally want to cover his face in kisses and so on -- but not in public! He hates PDA, so while he'll hold my hand, put an arm around me, or give me a quick peck, he doesn't dote on me around others.)



KRIZDA88
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10 Jul 2010, 1:30 pm

Well, it's been 3 months now and I've spent the last week really irritated with him. I don't think he understands that AS is a real disorder his response to me telling him about it was that it kind of described him (which to me sounds like "well I fit some of those symptoms so I don't see what's so special about it") and I don't think he has taken any initiative to find out more about it. So I'm back to trying to figure out how to tell him that my Asperger's does impact him that it is the reason I don't hang all over him like my sisters hang on their boyfriends and the fact that I will not show affection to him except every once in a while is something that isn't going to change much.

My sister says she thinks he's feeling rejected because I'm not outwardly affectionate toward him (and when I am it's superficial and he knows it) and he's trying to compensate for it and by doing so he's just irritating me. Us Aspie girls need a very special kind of guy and I don't know if Mike fits that mold. I feel like I need to give him another chance to understand that even though I'm a very good faker I am not normal and that my AS is not something that he can ignore if this relationship is going to be successful. He can't interpret the signals I give him like he would if they are coming from an NT and so far I haven't seen any initiative from him to ask me if what he's seeing is really how I feel or if it is part of my AS, I think he just ignores it.

However, I don't want to make my AS the center of our relationship either. I need to find a balance and a way to discuss this with him and give him a chance to be honest with himself and back out if he doesn't think he can handle it. Right now I really need some space but I only ever see him on the weekends (so it's not like i don't already have space though I still feel obligated to text him everyday) so I feel bad asking him to stay away (and he can only really do that till Sunday because we attend the same church and have since we were kids) but at this point it is for his own good if I don't see or interact with him for a while. I'm so confused because I don't want to be unfair to him just because my emotions are so screwed up right now but I can't hide what I feel either especially when it is irrationally directed at him.

Mostly I'm writing this as a way to organize my thoughts but if anyone has any comments, suggestions, or encouragement it would be appreciated.


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-Bigfoot IS blurry, that's the problem. It's not the photographer?s
fault. He's a large, out-of-focus monster, and that's extra scary to me.

-If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it, do the other trees make fun of it?


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10 Jul 2010, 8:02 pm

I wouldn't date someone who doesn't think AS is real. Same as if they don't think you have it.

I have been with my husband for three years now and he was right for me. We don't do normal relationship stuff and he is just laid back and patient. He also helps me out with the NT stuff like telling me what not to say.



Last edited by League_Girl on 13 Jul 2010, 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

violetchild
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11 Jul 2010, 1:49 pm

If he cant happily give you space when you are needing space, the relationship probably wont work. He needs to believe and understand your Asperger's some.

Im currently going throu issues with my NT boyfriend too, thou not of that kind. i find NT relationships hard.



ValleyBridetoBe
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12 Jul 2010, 6:57 pm

I got married in April. It just was different... I had other relationships, and most didn't last very long OR we fought all the time.
My relationship with my husband... was just totally different from any other relationship I've had. We are just like really good friends and have a great time. We still have arguments and that sort of thing, but he's just different than any other guy!



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13 Jul 2010, 1:33 pm

I have been with the same man for over 4 years and Im not the best example of this since me and my guy clash over everything because we are indeed so different. I am going thru the same thing with my fiance at the moment of him wondering why I do some of the things I do and we fight a lot about it. Mostly about the way I tell him what to do all the time and how I need to have everyday the same of I cry and freak out but we wont get into that.

Just because you dont want to be affectionate and hes getting mad about it then thats not okay. The relationship is still new and your taking time to get to know each other and if you dont want to hang all over him and need space thats okay too. Its good that you want to take sometime away maybe its just what the two of you need especially since he was saying he doesnt understand AS sounds like he needs to do some reading up on it.

You are right when you say aspie girls need a special kind of guy. Mike as you said may not be the right one especially with the things you mentioned. I dated a lot of the wrong guys and when I finally found Jason I knew he was right. The way I know is that I treat him like crap sometimes put him through heck n back and hes still here. He may not understand why I do the things I do and why I am the way I am but he deals with it and hasnt given up he really is special.

Maybe after you and Mike have sometime apart you could then try and talk but if he still feels the same as he did and hasn't even tried to understand AS it probably isnt going to work out. Its better to be with someone who understands and will wait and be patient and go at your pace and not get mad and frustrated just because you dont want to go to fast and need space.

I hope whatever you decide works out for you.


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15 Jul 2010, 1:16 am

As someone who's been married for 5 years now, to an NT, my advice is to keep being willing to talk for as long as he's willing to stick around and talk. It hurts a lot sometimes, but if you stick in there, and keep talking, even if you feel like you're saying the same things, usually something eventually shifts. One or the other of you will "get" something that you just didn't get before. Someone will gain an understanding of something the other needs which is realistic to give, and it will improve things.

If, at any point, it just gets absolutely unbearable, you can make the choice to end it (or he can, of course), but I suggest, if you think the relationship has potential, that you stick it out. (Just being the relationship you're in right now does not automatically qualify it as "having potential," fyi.)

I asked my mom once, when I was a kid, how she and my dad stayed together for so long when so many of my peers' parents were divorced. I'll never forget what she said: "Relationships are like rollercoasters. They have their ups and downs, and the key is to remember, when you're in the down part, that there's an up part coming soon."



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15 Jul 2010, 11:38 am

KRIZDA88 wrote:
Well, it's been 3 months now and I've spent the last week really irritated with him. I don't think he understands that AS is a real disorder his response to me telling him about it was that it kind of described him (which to me sounds like "well I fit some of those symptoms so I don't see what's so special about it") and I don't think he has taken any initiative to find out more about it. So I'm back to trying to figure out how to tell him that my Asperger's does impact him that it is the reason I don't hang all over him like my sisters hang on their boyfriends and the fact that I will not show affection to him except every once in a while is something that isn't going to change much.


hmm, maybe consider the idea that your aspergers doesn't impact him? He might like that you don't hang out of him all the time, and that you aren't overly affectionate.

Honestly, don't try to fix what isn't broken. I doubt my bf knows a thing about AS, other than that I supposedly have it. So as long as your guy doesn't openly laugh at your diagnosis, I wouldn't worry. You are in a much better position than if you had to keep using your AS as an excuse for current problems; your guy doesn't even need to put a label on your quirks to like you :)

Quote:
My sister says she thinks he's feeling rejected because I'm not outwardly affectionate toward him (and when I am it's superficial and he knows it) and he's trying to compensate for it and by doing so he's just irritating me. Us Aspie girls need a very special kind of guy and I don't know if Mike fits that mold. I feel like I need to give him another chance to understand that even though I'm a very good faker I am not normal and that my AS is not something that he can ignore if this relationship is going to be successful. He can't interpret the signals I give him like he would if they are coming from an NT and so far I haven't seen any initiative from him to ask me if what he's seeing is really how I feel or if it is part of my AS, I think he just ignores it.


Have you talked to Mike about this? Does he say he wants you to be more outgoing and affectionate? If not, forget your sister's opinion. It's well meant, but she can't read minds any more than you can and most people have a tendency to think everyone else thinks the same way they do.

Quote:
However, I don't want to make my AS the center of our relationship either. I need to find a balance and a way to discuss this with him and give him a chance to be honest with himself and back out if he doesn't think he can handle it. Right now I really need some space but I only ever see him on the weekends (so it's not like i don't already have space though I still feel obligated to text him everyday) so I feel bad asking him to stay away (and he can only really do that till Sunday because we attend the same church and have since we were kids) but at this point it is for his own good if I don't see or interact with him for a while. I'm so confused because I don't want to be unfair to him just because my emotions are so screwed up right now but I can't hide what I feel either especially when it is irrationally directed at him.


I think you're worrying too much about this. He always has a chance to back out. Any time he likes. Even if you end up married, he knows where the door is. There's no need for you to show him the way out, unless you want to get rid of him.

I think you're very confused. I don't mean that as an insult. I've been that way myself. I wonder if you want to distance yourself because you think he can't possibly like you because you're different. Believe it or not, some guys really do like non-clingey, non-over emotional girls. You might be afraid of getting too involved yourself.

When you're with him, do you enjoy his company? Are you relaxed? If so, then I think you should stick with it. Agree on and set a number of texts per day and phone calls per week so you know what the 'rules' are and don't need to worry about it. You can always review and change things as time goes on.

If you do find yourself stressed in his company though, or the whole relationship thing is getting too intrusive in your life, then yeah, maybe think about ending it. They're supposed to be fun, not torture and he may not be the right guy for you.

But don't worry about the AS. It's just a cluster of personality traits that he's going to find out anyway, diagnosis or not, and it shouldn't really change a thing (I despair of NT women who come on here and write things like "oh, if only I'd known about the AS I would have stayed with him..." yeah, and still be as miserable as before, only now you know why.. much better :roll: ).

Also, even if you were 100% NT, couples still have personality clashes. If everyone said at the start of a relationship "this is me. These are my bad points, I will not change. Like it or leave it"... well, there wouldn't be too many couples around. Better to solve each clash as it comes along and work on a compromise together.

Quote:
Mostly I'm writing this as a way to organize my thoughts but if anyone has any comments, suggestions, or encouragement it would be appreciated.


I find that helps too. Hope something I've written is of use, but otherwise, I find answering people's questions helps tidy up my own thoughts as well.